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title = Mark Twain
papers = Mark Twain
Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri on November
30, 1835. His father and mother both came from old Virginia families. His father was
trained as a lawyer; somewhat feckless and unsuccessful in business, he moved
slowly west a writer of short sketches and stories was encouraged.
He was developing a minor reputation as a humorist and lecturer in the mid 1860's,
but it was the publication of "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" in
1865 that brought country-wide attention. He had further success with a series of
Mark Twain's general reputation as one of the most admired, and possibly the most
beloved American based upon the work he published before 1890.
He was always more than simply a comic entertainer, he responds to human error
with quick satiric thrusts that remind one of eighteenth century English satirist
Jonathan Swift. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is reasonably free from such tonal
darkening, b In his early work he seemed to touch the core of late nineteenth century
popular humor, giving Americans what they felt was the best part of their characters in
stories of good-natured, slightly skeptical, occasionally vulgar trickery. Twain had an
eye The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
Jim Smiley, an obsessive gambler, meets his match when he bets that his trained
frog, Dan'l Webster, can outjump any other frog in a Northern California mining area,
In this tale style is a strong element. Twain sets himself up as the straight man who
once gets started is impossible to stop. His letter to A. Ward, which is the exterior
framing device for the story, is a complaint to the effect that Ward had deliber Beyond
its technical cleverness the popularity of the story lay in large part in the fact that
Twain refrains from patronizing his unlettered inhabitants of Calaveras County.
Smiley may have been fooled this time, but he is usually the victor and is lik
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